Mark Your Calendars 

Empower Illinois is excited to announce January 15 as the official date for 2019-2020 tax credit scholarship application process to begin. If you have questions during the application process, please call the Empower Illinois scholarship hotline at 

855-318-1222

.

4 Things You Should Know About 2019-2020 Applications

1. Everyone must reapply. 

  • Those who received a scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year or are currently on the waitlist must apply to be considered for 2019-2020 scholarships. 

2. The application is 2 steps.

  • First, complete Part One on January 15, 2019 at 7 p.m. CT, which will timestamp your application. Your timestamp matters.
  • Then, you will be notified when Part Two is available. You can complete this step whenever you are able but we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. 

3. Every family will have access to a new online portal. 

  • On the portal, you will find part two of the application and can track your application and award status. 

4. Before April 1, some applicants receive priority.

  • Per Illinois law, priority will be given to students who meet one of the following categories:
    • Received a scholarship from a scholarship granting organization during the previous school year; 
    • Are siblings of students currently receiving a scholarship;
    • Are members of a household whose total annual income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for a family of 4); or 
    • Reside within a focus district. 

More details are coming soon. Stay tuned for helpful information about the application process. 

What You’ll Need

All you need to begin your application is your name and contact information, your child’s date of birth, and their preferred school. You will not need to submit any documents during this step of the application process.
Click here for more information and step-by-step instructions.
 

Don’t Forget

Only ONE reservation and application will be accepted for each household. A household is defined as all family members living together at one address. The reservation form can fit up to 15 students. If multiple family members reserve a spot in line at the same time, the system will delete duplicates and only accept the later time stamped application. Please be sure to only submit ONE application for your household.
 

What’s Next

After you reserve your place in line, you will receive a link to the full application. It may take up to a few weeks for you to receive this link. When you receive it, you will have 7 days to complete the application and submit all your documents.

Click on How Do I Apply? for a helpful video tutorial about how to apply, including steps on how to reserve your place in line today for first-come, first-served scholarships. 


Key Information for Parents and Students

 

WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE SCHOLARSHIPS AT ILLINOIS LUTHERAN?

Students whose families earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level or less ($73,800 for a family of four) qualify, with the priority given to students whose family’s total income in 2016 did not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for a family of four). The federal poverty level has been established as $24,600 for a family of four. See the chart below for more details.

  • From January to April, priority will be given to students who are members of a household whose previous year’s total annual income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level.
  • After April 1, all other qualifying students will be considered for scholarships. 
 2017 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Chart
Household members 185% FPL 250% FPL 300% FPL
1 $22,311 $30,150 $36,180
2 $30,044 $40,600 $48,720
3 $37,777 $51,050 $61,260
4 $45,510 $61,500 $73,800
5 $53,243 $71,950 $86,340
6 $60,976 $82,400 $98,880
7 $68,709 $92,850 $111,420
8 $76,442 $103,300 $123,960

Note: If more than eight people in your household, add $4,180 for each additional person.

For 2018-2019 scholarships, 2016 federal adjusted gross income is the basis. This amount does not include the income of children under 18 attending elementary or secondary school on a full-time basis. Foster children are deemed to have a household income that does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level.

 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP?

The application process will take about 15-20 minutes. Use the checklist below to gather everything you will need before you begin.

  • A copy of your family’s 2016 federal tax return.
  • Proof of Illinois residency, such as:
    • Current utility bill
    • Current driver license
  • Documentation of the student’s age, such as:
    • A copy of the student’s birth certificate
    • Federal or State ID
    • A passport
  • The student’s prior semester report card (unless beginning school for the first time).
  • If available, a letter of acceptance or enrollment at an eligible, participating, non-public school.
    • If your child is not currently a student at Illinois Lutheran, please contact us as soon as possible to set up your Education Success Consultation. For grades 6 and under, call 708.672.5969. For grades 7 – 12, call 708.672.3262.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • The Tax Credit Scholarship will cover up to 100% of private school tuition.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS IN MOST CASES ARE GIVEN ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS, SO WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU APPLY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ON THE DATES THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS STARTS IN JANUARY 2018 (SEE BELOW).

THE PROCESS:

STEP 1: Families submit a complete application. You can submit an application throughEmpower Illinois, our designated SGO, as well as the Association of Christian Schools International. It is best to apply to BOTH SGOs, to increase your chance or receiving a scholarship. You can submit an application to multiple SGOs (as long as they are approved for Region 3) to increase your chance of receiving a scholarship. AS MENTIONED ABOVE, SCHOLARSHIPS IN MOST CASES ARE GIVEN ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS, SO WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU APPLY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ON THE DATES THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS STARTS.

STEP 2: Families are notified of their application status.

STEP 3: Students begin school admission and enrollment process.*

STEP 4: Scholarship award notifications are sent to families beginning in February and continue until available funds are used.

STEP 5: Funds will be distributed to schools at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

* The school admission process is separate from the scholarship process. A scholarship does not guarantee admittance.